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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Please bear with me with explanation if I'm not clear. I bought a Beulah 6/7Classic Switch rod with a Echo Reel. The fly shop owner set me up with a Scientific Anglers Dragon Tail 120ft shooting line along with a Airflow Tactical Shooting Head, Skagit switch float. 390 grains, and I think a T14 tip. I need help to understand all of this. I took a lesson in his back yard but when I hit the water I couldn't do jack. Over head cast is great but the rest is poor at best.
I use my Rio Virsa tips with my standard 7wt. What does the T14 mean. Explain the language please. I also have been looking at what Beulah recommends on the web site. Am I to heavy for a virgin or what. HELP PLEASE

Kevin
 

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I'm not all that familiar with Skagit heads, but T14 for 6/7 weight sounds like it's too heavy. If you're only just learning, I would ditch the sink tip, slap on a floating MOW tip to practise casting. Once you can cast that consistently, get started on sink tips.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm not all that familiar with Skagit heads, but T14 for 6/7 weight sounds like it's too heavy. If you're only just learning, I would ditch the sink tip, slap on a floating MOW tip to practise casting. Once you can cast that consistently, get started on sink tips.
I did tye a grass leader to practice with but I still have trouble. I have trying the setup the owner gave me but I'm have a lot of trouble with it.

Kevin
 

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What does the T14 mean. Explain the language please.
"T" notation is usually used in reference to level tungsten-coated tips. T14 means 14 grains per foot. T-11 is 11 grains per foot, T-17 is 17 grains per foot, etc. Such heavy tips are usually used in winter conditions and/or with large, heavy flies. By contrast a Rio 10ft type-3 sink tip, called "type 3" as it sinks around 3 inches per second, in 7wt is around 75 grains or 7.5 grains per foot.

T-14 is about as heavy as most people cast, quite a load for a beginner casting a 6/7 switch rod, and probably on the border of what your equipment is capable of. The above advice is reasonable, go to a floating tip as you learn, or, at least, a more manageable sink tip, e.g a Rio MOW medium tip with 7.5 ft floating/2.5 ft sinking T-11.

Get on some water, get somebody to help you get started.
 

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Maybe another good question is: what kind of casts are you trying to make? With the set-up you have, you're pretty much restricted to water born anchor casts (i.e. snap T and double spey). If you're trying to do single speys or snakerolls (airborne anchor casts), that could be part of the problem.
 

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It's tough to diagnose this without seeing what's happening but here's some general tips for casting a switch rod.

Keep a compact stroke. I visualize a box in front of me that extends roughly from my belly button to chin vertically and shoulder to shoulder horizontally and I try to keep my stroke within that box.

Slow down and use your bottom hand to generate the power. When my casting sucks it seems my natural response is to try harder and apply more power by using my top hand. This never works. Eventually I compose myself and focus on being slow and deliberate with my stroke and focus on the bottom hand as the power plant.

Here's a concise video about the snap-t that I found helpful when I was starting out.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81WJhMjhqYM
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Maybe another good question is: what kind of casts are you trying to make? With the set-up you have, you're pretty much restricted to water born anchor casts (i.e. snap T and double spey). If you're trying to do single speys or snakerolls (airborne anchor casts), that could be part of the problem.
Now the cast name I will have to get back to you on that one. I think its a snap T and double spey but not sure. I do know this that might help you. I'm left handed, so I'm trying to come over my left shoulder and the water was running from right to left. If that helps.

Kevin
 

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Now the cast name I will have to get back to you on that one. I think its a snap T and double spey but not sure. I do know this that might help you. I'm left handed, so I'm trying to come over my left shoulder and the water was running for right you left. If that helps.

Kevin
The snap-t and double spey would be appropriate casts for your setup. Others have mentioned it but while you're learning you should ditch that t-14 and go with something a little less aggressive. It'll help build confidence to learn the fundamentals with a setup that is easier to cast.
 

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Now the cast name I will have to get back to you on that one. I think its a snap T and double spey but not sure. I do know this that might help you. I'm left handed, so I'm trying to come over my left shoulder and the water was running for right you left. If that helps.

Kevin
If I'm understanding correctly, you are in a situation where you should make a double spey. If the river was flowing from your left to right, you make a snap T.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If I'm understanding correctly, you are in a situation where you should make a double spey. If the river was flowing from your left to right, you make a snap T.

Sorry for the typos. The cast I was trying was a double spey most of the time. The river flow is moving right to left. I am left handed so if I am doing it correctly I am trying to set my anchor (I think) to my right. Them come around over my left shoulder to complete the cast. Does any of this make since?

Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The snap-t and double spey would be appropriate casts for your setup. Others have mentioned it but while you're learning you should ditch that t-14 and go with something a little less aggressive. It'll help build confidence to learn the fundamentals with a setup that is easier to cast.
What size tip do you think I need to try?

Kevin
 

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Those are versileaders. They are much lighter than the T-level tips that you need for a skagit head and will probably transfer the casting energy in a funky way. I have a Beulah Platinum 6wt switch and a Bleulah Classic 6/7 spey (11' 6"). Here is my setup and the tips I use most often. I learned on the switch rod so it was very unforgiving and probably harder than learning on a longer spey.

Beulah Platinum 6 switch
-RIO grip shooter running line
-Airflo Skagit Switch 360 grain
-Tips I use most: RIO iMOW in the 5'/5' (intermediate/sink-tip) in t-8 and t-11.
-As a beginner the floating MOW tip will be good to practice and use until you feel more comfortable with sink tips.

For shooting heads I would go with Beulah's grain suggestions as I feel they are spot on. Though some people say to go a little heavier (maybe 20 or 30 grains) to help you load the rod. So you are probably ok on your grain weight for now. Just take it slow. Sustained anchor casting requires that you give the water a couple seconds to grab the line when setting up your anchor. Then do your cast in a smooth continuous motion. Personally I would youtube Ed Ward and Tom Larimer on skagit casting. They are awesome. Google some of the terms I used in describing my setup to get familiar with the type of products that are out there. This is was I use and have researched and is not the only way to do it, but I think it works for my rod and think something similar would help you too. If anything call up Beulah as well. Their customer service is great and they really know how to dial in their rods. Best of luck in this crazy game of two-handed casting.

Bob
 

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I have a Beuhlah 6/7 switch rod too (I bought it after someone here suggested it). It is my main rod for salmon and steelhead and cutthroat for small-medium rivers and I mainly skagit cast with it. I found too that Beuhlahs specs are spot on and after that it was just slowing down a bit with my casting stroke, not trying to wizz through it, and the rod just powers it and a fly right out there. I didn't even touch my sage 9/10 this season as it is just great to cast all day and takes everything I need it to do in stride.
 

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if you are not fishing for winter steelhead, or not really needing to dredge you might think about tapered type 3, 6, 7 tips. airflo 13' delta tips cast alot more smoothly, and land a bit softer than T- tips. for the weight of your skagit, i'd try the 6/7 or 7/8 tips (75-85 grains) but, most importantly, ditto on learning with a longer rod. when it comes to spey gear, you really should be talking to a shop that TRULY specializes in the 2 handed game. call red shed. poppy is da man.
 

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It sounds like you need a good two hand casting instructor to sort out your casting, outfit, terminology, technique, etc.
You can search or ask here on Spey Pages for a good instructor in your area.
A couple of hours with a good instructor can save you hours or days in making effective use of your new equipment.
 

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It sounds like you need a good two hand casting instructor to sort out your casting, outfit, terminology, technique, etc.
You can search or ask here on Spey Pages for a good instructor in your area.
A couple of hours with a good instructor can save you hours or days in making effective use of your new equipment.
The above and....practice, practice, practice. Everyday if you can for 30 minutes or an hour. I realize that may be difficult in the winter, but at least make it a goal for Spring.
 

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Those versileaders would work but you'd need to use a fairly light fly with those. A key point to understand with the setup is the heavier your tip the more payload you have to chuck a heavy fly. It can be ideal in winter flows but it's difficult to learn with.

Regardless of what tip you end up going with, if you're still struggling with casting put on an unweighted fly and see if that helps.

 
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